Report By Anna Carrigan
Thanks to Paddy Lynch, Joe Haugh and Will Greensmyth for the race photos.
For me, the evening’s fun started on the N3. I was making my way into town in good time (for a change) for the race when I noticed a taxi driver trying to get my attention with some demonstrative hand signals. It took me a few seconds to register that he was telling me I had a flat tyre! I couldn’t believe it, of all the evenings and I had a service booked for the next day !! I pulled into a garage a couple of hundred yards up the road to see how bad things were, and found the tyre about two thirds deflated. My heart sank.
If I was to make the race, my only option was to try pumping up the tyre and keep everything crossed that it would hold until I got into town. Got it pumped up, stopped at the next garage a couple miles on, and lo and behold the air pressure was holding. I’d make it into town on time, crisis averted.
The registration point for the race was in the Great Hall of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Built in the 17th century, its architecture is typical of this classical period, with its grand scale, high ceiling and magnificent windows. A stunning room and the perfect location to accommodate the 728 race participants !
Race warm up started about 15 mins before the scheduled race start time of 19:45, compliments of the St James Hospital Physiotherapists. People were reluctant to move out into the rain, but slowly we got ourselves out and warmed up and into the spirit of things. Warm up done, we were then called to the start line and after some brief speeches we were off !
The club was well represented with Karol, Gavin, Gareth, Eoin, Will, Stephen, Eileen and Audrey, to name but a few.
I started the race with Eileen, Audrey and Stephen. Our main goal was to enjoy the race! Ok, we had a few time goals too, but we were keeping them close to our chest ! For me, anything under 30 mins and I would be very pleased.
Despite the rain, race conditions were good – no wind, not too hot and the rain was soft and refreshing rather than torrential.
The race route took us around by the Museum of Modern Art and out the gate onto Bow Bridge and onwards to Bow Lane. I was glad to be getting the main hill out of the way at the start of the race. For the first kilometre or so, the four of us managed to stay together, but by the time we were half way down Thomas St, we started to stretch out, and Stephen and Eileen started to sail away off into the distance.
I was feeling the early pace at this point and needed to settle down into a pace that I could sustain, hoping it wasn’t too slow. It was hard to judge. I had no watch and lots of people seemed to be passing me out ! I just needed to focus on keeping it going.
From Thomas St, we turned right onto Francis St, where we had a few cheers from well wishers standing outside pubs. It was then another right onto the Coombe, when I heard someone from the sidelines say that we were 2.5 kilometres in – only another 3.5 to go ! I was still recovering from the fast start and it felt like a very long way !
Another kilometre on through Pimlico and I heard someone call out my name ! Looked around and it was Joe braving the rain and cheering us all on! That helped inject a bit of renewed life back into the legs and on we went around Bellevue School St.
The route then took us down James walk at the back of St. James hospital, over the canal bridge and onto the South Circular Road. I had picked up a competitive race buddy by this point, and were both working hard at passing each other out. Whatever keeps you going ! Then finally we turned right and it was up the hill to the beat of the drums to Richmond Tower, the west gate entrance to the RHK.
As I went through the gate, I could just about see the clock in the distance, but couldn’t quite make out if it was in the twenties or thirties. I dug as deep as I could and started to sprint, the numbers crystallised and unbelievably it still said 27. I couldn’t feel my legs but I kept going and finally I was over the line !
Soaked, Exhausted but absolutely Thrilled !
Congratulations and well done to all of the Sportsworld particpants, all of whom clocked up great times.
From a club perspective, Karol was the first man over the line in a time of 18:56, 6th place finish overall.
Eileen was the first lady home in a time of 26:15, and 18th female overall.
Overall it was a lovely run (and fast course) through the heart of the Liberties, with plenty of support along the route. The race was well organised, with a wonderful start/end location, which not only boasted great architecture but also great loo facilities with no queues, a welcome bonus ! And for anyone with tired legs, there were complimentary leg massages ! It’s one I would recommend !
Full results: Precision Timing